Tag : Generation Next

Are You Too Busy For a Thumbs Up?

This was originally written for my regular Generation Next Column. It has a handful of comments there that you might like to read. My 5-year-old son attends swimming lessons each and every Sunday. It’s a busy pool with multiple classes going on at once. During lessons parents sit around the pool and watch their offspring splash around, offering words of encouragement, the occasional ‘thumbs up’ and many smiles of pride. You can picture it can’t you? It was pretty much […]

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3 Common Myths About Positive Psychology

I originally wrote this for my regular Generation Next Column  In my work with schools, I’m finding more and more interest arising in the area of Positive Psychology and its offshoot Positive Education. And as the interest around these grow, so do some of the more common misconceptions. I’ve found some teachers to be a little cynical, and why wouldn’t we be? After all it seems we get told a new way, a better way of teaching on an almost weekly […]

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The Crazy Things That Some Schools Do!

Is it April Fool’s day? Of course it isn’t. So why am I reading ridiculous headlines like this?  Melbourne schools ban playground games because of lack of resilience The report stated that schools were banning Tiggy because kids would just give up when they were tagged, and quoted the Victorian Principals Association president Gabrielle Leigh as saying some schools had imposed bans on other games, such as skipping and swapping collector cards, over problems sharing. Wow. Banning games because kids […]

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Hey kids – Stop talking like that!

I bet there’s certain things kids say that grate on you. I bet there are slang terms that, quite simply, you don’t understand. Every now and then you’ll come across a helpful list of the latest “kids speak” like this one. Go on, read it. It’s brilliant. I’ll bet if you think back, there were words you used that your parents didn’t really get, and when they tried to use them, well… it was just wrong. A couple of weeks […]

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Changing the World is Good for You!

I originally wrote this for my regular Generation Next Column. If you can use your strengths in the service of something greater than yourself, many psychologists will tell you that this is a key predictor of wellbeing. They refer to it as having a sense of purpose or meaning. Recently I’ve been working with schools to push their thinking in this regard. What if schools were a place where kids learnt how to make a difference? This has always underpinned […]

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Girls Get A’s, Then Get Surgery

This was originally published for my regular Generation Next column.  I have a saying that my teaching colleagues will be able to appreciate. Interesting kids have very interesting parents. I spent the past two years resisting invitations from schools to give parent talks. My reasoning was that whilst after 15+ years teaching, I can speak with some authority with regards to working with school students, I have only been a parent for the past five years, and I reckon parenting […]

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Is ADHD an “Aussie” thing?

On Sunday, I tweeted a link to this article by Marilyn Wedge about rates of ADHD in different countries. Distilling the essence of this article, I subsequently wrote this for my regular column in the Generation Next blog. In the US, at least 9% of schoolchildren are on medication for ADHD. In Australia it is estimated that 11% of children and adolescents fulfill the criteria for ADHD. Yet in France the figure is just .5%. As in POINT five. Half a percent. […]

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Get rid of ANTs & Change your thinking!

This was originally written for the latest Generation Next Newsletter. Of late, more and more schools are asking me to work with their students as well as their staff. My most popular workshop at the moment is Learning to Bounce where we explore resilience. Resilience is generally accepted to mean the ability to bounce back after adversity. However, inspired by the words of Dr Sue Roffey a couple of years back, I’ve been fascinated by the notion that resilience is also the ability […]

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“Getting rid of the Dross”

Towards the end of 2012 I had two conversations with teachers in two different schools that made me stop and think. The first was with a principal who in response to my assertion that we overuse grades in school replied: I’ve heard all this before. But if we stop grading, we end up with kids who are shit but who don’t know they’re shit. A few days later during a Q&A with a teaching faculty, a number of teachers started […]

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Are we testing the wrong things?

This is my latest article in the Generation Next Newsletter… As the Fairfax media reports that more parents than ever were withdrawing their kids from the annual NAPLAN tests I wonder if these tests are even assessing the right things in school. Now I realize the importance of literacy and numeracy – of course I do. But, these tests only measure outcomes. If we only assess the outcomes, we often misunderstand or completely ignore the causation. What if we saw […]

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